Articles & Notes — February 7, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Russians shoot a film during anti-governmental protests

It’s interesting how some events can push a film idea down your throat. People are probably aware of the protests following the 2011 elections in Russia.

If you’re not – read below, and see how people can make a film during such an intense situation in a big country.

The 2011 Russian legislative election process was considered to be flawed by many Russian and foreign journalists, political activists and members of the public.

First protests started on December 5, and on December 10, 2011 after a week of small-scale demonstrations, Russia saw some of the biggest protests in Moscow since the 1990s.

The focus of the protests have been the ruling party, United Russia, and its leader Vladimir Putin, the current prime minister and previous two-term president, who has announced his intention to run again for President in 2012.

Another round of large protests took place on 24 December, 2011. These protests were named “For Fair Elections” and their organizers set up the movement of the same name.

By 10 December the “For Fair Elections” protesters had coalesced into five main points: freedom for political prisoners; annulment of the election results; the resignation of Vladimir Churov (head of the election commission) and the opening of an official investigation into vote fraud; registration of opposition parties and new democratic legislation on parties and elections, as well as new democratic and open elections.

On 4 February more protests and pro-government rallies were carried out throughout the country. The largest two events were in Moscow: the “anti-Orange protest” (alluding to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the most widely known color revolution to Russians), aimed against “orangism”, “collapse of the country”, “perestroika” and “revolution”.

According to Russian news sources, there were more than 1,100 official reports of election irregularities across the country, including allegations of vote fraud, obstruction of observers and illegal campaigning (only 195 or 11,5% were later confirmed true after investigation).

And, with all this still going on, some filmmakers decided to make a movie…about love, with these protests in the background.

The idea to shoot the film came on the first day of the protests, on December 5, and the producer of the film Nikita Trynkin (also a managing director of the “Bazelevs” company”), spoke briefly about the film.

The story of the film centers around a love affair between a Special Purpose Police Unit (SPPU or OMON) soldier and an opposition girl. According to Trynkin, the story has nothing to do with politics, as its rather a “tragic and intense lovestory”.

He added that the footage for the film was being shot during the ongoing protests, in “a documentary manner”. Aside from that, he said that the film’s lead also participated in the protest for real.

Trynkin did not reveal the names of the actors playing leading parts, and he also refused to speak about film’s budget.

Trynkin added that the film is not a production of the “Bazelevs” studio, adding that while head of the company Timur Bekmambetov “gave green light” to the film, he simply asked to see the finished product after everything is wrapped up.

According to Trynkin, Bekmambetov could not participate in this production due to his extremely tight schedule. The film itself will be completed sometime in March of 2012, while the complete picture should be ready in June.



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